Up until now I have been mainly using the excellent CDex as a CD to mp3 ripper. The recent release of BonkEnc turned out to be the perfect situation to test another popular mp3 ripper and encoder.
BonkEnc can rip music from CDs but also encode music that is already on the computer system into various audio formats including mp3, flac, aac, mp4 or ogg vorbis. It takes only minimal user interaction to rip a CD with the default settings. The computer program will automatically try to identify the CD by retrieving data from free online databases. If the data is found it will automatically be written in the tags of the music files.
Music that the user wants to encode can be added using the built in file browser or by dragging and dropping folders or files into the interface. BonkEnc will display various information about each file including its name, length and file size. Selecting a file will expand on that and display title, artist, album, genre and other tag information which can be changed on the fly.
The selected encoder of choice is Lame Mp3 which can be used by selecting one of the various presets or a custom configuration. Each change aspects of the encoding process including the output quality and several advanced parameters.
BonkEnc is an excellent CD to Mp3 Ripper that can also be used to encode audio files. Users who are already using CDex do not have a real reason to switch to this application unless they experience troubles with the former.
Update: BonkEnc has not been updated in a while. It seems that a new program, fre:ac is now the focus of development on the developer website. It is also a free audio converter and music CD ripper that you can download from the site. You can still download BonkEnc from the site if you want.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.